I started watching American Idol at the very end of Season One. In fact, my first taste of it was the results show in which Kelly Clarkson beat out Justin Guarini. Kelly seemed to this Mouse to be the clear winner. In Season Two, I repeated this procedure, as I thought the endless weekly hoopla would bore me and I wanted to cut to the chase. However, there was something lacking as I watched the fat black guy (Ruben Studdard) edge out the gay white guy (Clay Aiken). Having missed the whole season, I thought they were both mediocre and really didn’t know which one was the lesser of two evils. Those two years led me to wonder what went on before the final show, in the season leading up to it.
And, so it was that the next season, Season Three, I decided to watch the whole damn thing from start to finish. That was the less than stellar year in which Fantasia Barrino edged Diana DeGarmo in the final. Have you heard of either of them? I didn’t think so. Have you heard of Jennifer Hudson? She finished seventh. She wuz robbed.
In spite of the vagaries of winner selections, I’ve watched each subsequent season. Verily, it is drivel, but it is mildly entertaining drivel. None of the winners ever suited me until the voters selected David Cook over David Archuleta last year, but that was only because there wasn’t much of a field to choose from and I couldn’t stand the little creepy kid. This year, it has long seemed like Adam Lambert is the forgone conclusion, but the history of the fickle voters suggests that it is a mistake to count out his opponent, Kris Allen, prematurely.
Certainly, Lambert has a set of pipes on him. He can hit the high notes and he sings on key. He’s flamboyant, a showman through and through. However, some of his antics can put off a less than sophisticated audience (and sometimes, even a sophisticated one). He is good looking, but in the words of Artificially Sweetened, “He could be a woman!” Yes, he’s pretty, alright. So, perhaps he’ll lose the so-called homophobic vote out there. The latest rumor about him is that he brought his boyfriend to one of the American Idol dinners. I don’t really give a shit if he’s a fruit, but it might put off some voters.
Allen is probably going to get the Christian vote, although he has stated that he wants to be judged on his voice alone. His voice alone ain’t enough, though. He’s been known to hide behind a piano, and his stage presence is less than awe inspiring. Last week, though, he nailed his second number, which he accompanied on an acoustic guitar. If he can continue to rock the show with the momentum thus established, he’s got an excellent chance. This Mouse thinks Kris can make no mistakes if he wants to win. That means selection of material, arrangements, stage presence, and technical competence all have to be “spot-on”, as Simon would say.
The voters have surprised us in the past. No way did I think Taylor Hicks could ever beat Katharine McPhee in Season Five. There must be a helluva lot of voters in Birmingham, Alabama—that’s all I can say. It would certainly explain Studdard over Aiken and Hicks over McPhee. Of course McPhee was from the San Francisco Bay Area, where they would rather sip chardonnay and watch the gay rights parade on Castro Boulevard than watch American Idol. She was sultry, zaftig, and sexy, and she was sure as hell my idol that year. I think the mature male contingent either refrained from voting or didn’t bother watching. Sorry to go off-topic, but I merely wanted to present an example of the voters’ annoying tendencies to go against my superior judgment.
Back to tonight’s final, who will win? For that, this Mouse feels honored to bring in a distinguished prognosticator, The Nittany Turkey himself. Here’s what that curmudgeonly fowl has to say:
Thanks, Mouse. That brings us to the Official Turkey Poop Prediction for American Idol Season Eight. But first, let me say that I’m tired of picking up your droppings, so I’m glad you’re going into hibernation for a while after American Idol concludes this season. We won’t be feeding you much until football season, anyway. Oh, and there was a rumor that this Turkey’s mother hen’s cat might be coming for a visit. But I digress. Enough with the annoying little pipsqueak, already, and back to the task at hand. The current gambling line reveals that Adam is the odds-on favorite at 1-3, while Kris is offering a decent payout at 12-5. Allen has the Big Mo on his side coming into this match race—he’s been steadily improving, but he needs to run a perfect race to win. This Turkey has never been known to bet the chalk in a horse race, and I won’t do so here, either. I like the dark horse over the gelding. It’s Kris Allen by a nose.